Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Milestone Weekend

My milestone birthday has come & gone.  I know that "48" technically does not constitute a milestone ... but it does for me.  Click here to see why   
This birthday sort of marked my rite of passage.  It was a day (and week leading up to) for me to reflect ... to celebrate ... and to look forward.  
If I would describe the whole week & birthday, I would have to come back to my one-word ...


You can CLICK HERE to find out the significance of this five-letter word to me.  
It has truly been a God-driven year. He has given blessing after blessing and the year isn't even over yet ... how awesome He truly is!

So, Friday morning, August 24th, began as any other morning.  Grandad & I went for breakfast (no protein bars, but a special McDonald's birthday breakfast of my choice) ... I went to the gym afterwards (I know ... seems counterproductive) ... and when I came home ... 

Lucy turned around from the counter as she was eating her breakfast and declared (to the top of her little lungs)


Oh how grand that was to hear her! She was giggly, smiley & just so gosh-darned cute! 
(Yes, I'm like every other Granny in the universe ... I have the cutest grandkids ever!)

Blessing after blessing ... Facebook messages, phone calls, text messages, emails ... all a small portion yet an enormous dose of God's bountiful grace.  
My family treated me to a wonderful dinner at P. F. Chang's (and our kids took the bill before Grandad could even get his wallet!) 

Here is just a small glimpse into how blessed I am to have reached my milestone ...

God is the God of memories ... 
God is the God of looking forward ...
God is the God of milestones ...

I am truly blessed indeed.

So whatever "milestone" you, my reader, may be facing ...
let me assure you that God is already there for you with abundant blessings .

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Silent Milestone

Celebrations abound for reaching milestone birthdays ... baby's 1st birthday ... turning "double-digits" ... then reaching 16 to finally get a driver's license ... getting to vote at 18 ... becoming "legal" at 21 (although this made no difference to this Granny) ... becoming a "quarter-century" at 25 ... then the decades --- 30 ... 40 ... 50 (which my dear husband reached this year).  

But there's one milestone that I'm about to reach next week that neither Hallmark nor Gibson 
have the appropriate message for ...

For the past 32 years I have dreamed of this birthday ... even secretly dreaded the day. Now, I want to preface this with the fact that I truly believe that God knows the number of our days here on earth.  Jeremiah 29:11 gives us the promise that God knows His plans for each of us. These plans are not to bring us harm but to bring us to Him. 

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, 
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (KJV)

Next week will mark my 48th birthday.  Not a "decade" milestone nor an elaborate ordeal.  But, for its history:  It was 9 days before I turned 16 years old (32 years ago) that a drunk driver took my aunt's life. When this happened, my 16th birthday held little if no significance for me. At a time when all of my friends had anxiously awaited getting their driver's licenses, I had no desire to get mine. (And didn't get it until I was 17 1/2 years old.) 

However, 48 years to the day before my aunt's funeral, she made her grand entrance into the world ... we said our final earthly good-byes to her on her 48th birthday. The comfort I have is in knowing that I did not say good-bye forever.  We will meet again. Only Omniscient God knew the events that would surround August 18th even before He spoke the universe into existence. That is my comfort.

I counted my childhood as a privileged one.  My Granny, aunts, uncles & cousins all lived around me.  They were the most influential people in my life along with my parents. I always felt as if I had 3 "mother-figures" in my life:  my Mother as my "Mother" ... my aunts have been my "mom"s ... and my Granny was always my "mommy".  What a blessing to have such role models in my family.

So tomorrow ... August 18th ... I will remember my dear aunt. Celebrate her 80th birthday ... and her rebirth in Heaven with her Savior.  And as in the past 32 years, I will quietly cry and miss her deeply. I will remember that day as it was 32 years ago ... the overflowing community in our small home church who had come to pay their respects to her and her family ... the dark, rainy day that symbolized to me only God can bring peace and comfort to those who grieve ... and my Granny upon losing her child.  

As I prepare my heart and soul for my silent milestone next week, I will rejoice and be thankful for my dear aunt, my family and my childhood.  We lived in a very close-knit community ... we rejoiced with those who rejoiced and grieved with those who grieved ... and although I'm away from our community, we still share in rejoicing and grieving.  I have imagined over the past 32 years that my aunt has bowed and worshiped our Savior ... her melodious voice has sang praises to our King ... and she has reunited with loved ones in Glory. 

We each have milestones in our lives that may not always fit into a "category" or fit a "traditional" milestone.  But it's the comfort of knowing that God sees what's ahead of us even though we just see each moment that passes us by.  My upcoming birthday is a silent milestone for me.  I plan to treat it as any other day for me. No fanfare ... no birthday bash ... no fuss.  I will thank God for my family and will thank Him for bringing me through the day I turn 48.  And I will cherish my memories.

Here is a picture of my dear Granny holding my daughter ... my aunt's namesake. I see pieces of my aunt in her great-niece ... I like to believe that she is still holding her "mom" spot even in the hearts of her family that she never got to meet here on earth.



Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  
(John 14:1-4)

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 
(Revelation 21:4) 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Voice Within the Silent Ranks

 The Silent Ranks
Author Unknown

I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens
But I am in the Army in the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders - salutes I do not give
But the military world is the place where I live.
I'm not in the chain of command, orders I do not get
But my husband is the one who does, this I can not forget.
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line
But my job is just as tough, I'm the one that's left behind.
My husband is a patriot, a brave and prideful man
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines I see the things needed to keep this country free
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do our kids and me.
I love the man I married, Soldiering is his life
But I stand among the silent ranks known as the Army Wife.

I follow several military spouses on Facebook & my blog roll.  (As of now, all the spouses are wives) She is a warrior herself who stands beside her husband-in-uniform and serves our country alongside of him.  She keeps the home-front while her soldier is out in the field ... whether deployed overseas or deployed stateside (unaccompanied orders) ... or stationed on a military base anywhere ... no matter the rank, no matter the branch, no matter the assignment.  She & her fellow mil-spouses are "the silent ranks".


no rank, no orders, no MOS


Yet ... numerous times they have to be heard.  They must be the voice of their soldier & their family.  They are on the front-lines.  I've said it before & I will repeat ... I want these ladies to have my back.  When they hear the words "you are so strong"  --- they may look confused, in disbelief, or taken aback.  Most of them do not see themselves as we "outsiders" see them.  Nevertheless (in Granny's opinion), they are strongest people on the face of the earth ... along with their military kids.

I've given you some insight into our family and especially everything that's been happening since last Easter ... Mrs. Joe's miscarriage, Joe's deployment, Tag's birth, the explosion, Walter Reed.  As you can imagine, our daughter has been busy (to put it mildly) over these past 6 months so has only posted a couple of times since Tag's birth.  Well, now that their family is settling back in at home, she is blogging again with updates from these past months.  

Below is the link to her "Part One" post reliving the first days & hours of hearing of her soldier being wounded in action.  Now, there is "Part Two", so be sure to link into her overall blog after you read "Part One".  You will find an amazing story of what she felt and had to deal with just 11 days after giving birth to her baby boy ... the son whose Daddy  was supposed to meet when he came home for leave within a matter of days.  And she had to hold it together for their 3 1/2 year old daughter who was doubly ecstatic over her baby brother & anxious for "my Daddy the soldier" to come home from his work to spend time with her.  So much to process ... so much to absorb ... so much to hold together.  And yes, one of the strongest people I know.  

I know that she would love to have you stop by & read about her family.  Feel free to leave her a message & let her know that her Mommy sent you.  She definitely is one of a kind.  And her Daddy & I are so proud of the woman that God has lead her to be.  

Our daughter ... Mrs. G. I. Joe

ACU's, Stiletto Shoes, and Pretty Pink Tutus: The slow descent...Part 1: This is my first attempt at "filling in the gaps." Everything that happened after my first post about the explosion is mostly a blur. But ...